Be.ez LARobe Allure Collection laptop sleeves review

The days of bulky, Velcro heavy laptop bags built for business but little else, are thankfully numbered. French brand Be.ez, or 'be easy,' has produced a stylish portfolio of laptop, iPod and iPhone bags and sleeves that combine fashion and functionality. The latest, the LARobe Allure Collection, brings together laptop and matching external hard drive sleeves in a range of sizes and colours. Starting with a snug 13"3 sleeve, followed by 15"4 and 17" versions, there's one for every MacBook.

A choice of 'Black,' 'Moka,' and 'Color' pretty much covers those who want something stylish, yet discreet. Black or brown muted stripes are formal enough to appeal to many and are classy enough to have wide appeal. For those who really want to make a statement, the 'Color' option is a rainbow of colour in stripes that wouldn't look out of place on a stick of seaside rock.

Built from Neoprene, or Low Resilience Polyurethane (LRPu) technology to give it its full title, the sleeves are rubbery and have a slight but not unpleasant smell to them. Part of a family of synthetic rubbers, the material is used for a range of clothing and accessories including divers wetsuits. You can press your finger and thumb into the material and feel it spring back into shape within seconds.

The sleeves offer a fairly solid 5mm of padded protection, enough to protect from fairly gentle misuse but unlikely to withstand major mishaps. The zips are of a good quality and are suitably well stitched into the fabric so your MacBook will be unlikely to drop out one end. The lining is soft and designed to prevent marking or scratching your laptop. As with all sleeves, you'll need to think about additional storage for power supply and any accessories, as the snug fit means space is limited.

(A list of UK Be.ez stockists is available at www.be-ez.com/where.html.)

OUR VERDICT

Laptop bags and sleeves have come a long way in the last few years and the LARobe Allure Collection from Be.ez offers smart and sensible ways to carry and store your MacBook. While not the most radical of designs the range of colours and sizes should suit most, especially those who like to dress their MacBooks in stylish stripes.

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